I’ve done dancing on and off since I was a kid, yet when my friend and I travelled in South America the locals told us we danced liked poles.
And they didn’t mean in a sexy pole dancing way, but in a rigid inanimate object kinda way. Years of jazz and hip hop hadn’t taught me latino hips. I was, apparently, doing it all wrong. I was devastated.
Nightclub upon nightclub the feedback was always the same. Our olive skin and curly hair didn’t disguise us. “Where are you from?” they could tell we weren’t locals as we looked so funny dancing.
Upon returning to New Zealand, we quickly sought to rectify this. One beginner salsa lesson at a time, we were inducted into the ways of Latin dance. It’s all in the hips. And slowly but surely my “pole” dancing was rectified.
My Kiwi personal space bubble was also quickly destroyed. Here in NZ, we have a rather large personal space boundary – don’t get too close! Yet this didn’t go so well with the Latin dancing. They dance close and intimately. While I initially hated Salsa for this reason, I found my space bubble quickly shrunk, and I was happy to be flung around the dance floor.
A year of Salsa under my belt I went back to South America. The transformation was amazing. I danced my way across all the local dance floors, and nightclubs and was showered in compliments by locals who couldn’t believe I was from New Zealand not a Latina.
Funny to think how all this inspired my dancing today. Call me a Latino at heart but I still love the dance and the culture. It’s vibrant, it’s exciting, but most of all it’s fun.
Now I just need to master actual pole dancing.
Check out viva dance !
Half asleep at the airport the next morning, Peter ordered an orange juice and ended up with a ham and cheese sandwich, but customs was a breeze and we were quickly shoved in a ride to our hostel when we arrived in Rio De Janeiro. Lagoa Guest House was a teeny tiny little white house in the middle of the city, surrounded on all sides by huge apartment blocks that towered over the little building. First thing we did in Brazil was, of course, DRINK. We were here for carnival after all! Plus who can turn down an incredibly strong ‘welcome drink’ Caipirinha. Once we had settled in, our first stop was Copacabana Beach.
Our first few hours in Brazil and we are in a bus accident. Another bus driver drove into the back of our bus as soon aas we had stepped on! Not exactly a good omen but it was exciting at least…We were a little confused but everybody was friendly and helpful, gesturing for us to wait outside the bus until were were eventually on the road again. I think we first realised how craazy Brazil was when the other bus took off without a word to our driver about the accident, just carrying on with his day.
Copacabana Beach was mindblowing – people were absolutely everywhere. A large proportion of these people were huge women in teensy weensy little g-string bikinis and old men sitting in bars in their speedos. We picked up our tickets for carnival, took a look at the beautiful Copacabana Fort, got dressed up and headed to a Scala ball.
Peter was – his words – patted down by a big black man at the door, and then we were in. We had a great time. The ball looked like a high school prom, we met a great Canadian couple living in Cuba and danced all night.
Nice shots, sure an interesting way to arrive! :)]
Check out The Only Erika In The Village !
In the morning, my friend Ben and I decided to head out to São Conrado beach (it’s the local beach here) and relax. It was the perfect 80-something degree Winter day in Rio. Shortly after arriving, Wilson and Kaye joined us before their surf lesson with my friend Bocão and eventually Paul came down. Later on, we hung around the surf crew for some slackline on the beach.
Nice shot, might have to try that one day!
Check out Floating Upside Down in Rocinha !
The subway system of Rio is efficient and user friendly. We take the subway to central rio and find a great market where Kyle and I both get some famous Brazilian Havaianas . Probably a 1/4 of the stalls are selling some variety of Havaianas. We start a walking tour at the confeitaria colombo, a brilliant tea room with expensive desserts. The municipal theatre is beautiful with golden embellishments and intricate designs. A per-kilo restaurant provides a delicious lunch of fish and fresh produce. The white arches of Lapa are massive and stark against the blue sky. Originally an aqueduct, the arches recently held a tramway that snaked through the neighbouring districts of Lapa and Santa Theresa. A deadly accident recently closed this attraction. Close-by, the Rio de Janeiro cathedral looks like a dull concrete volcano from the outside. From the inside bright glowing stained glass panels meet in a cross on the roof. I had been waiting excitedly to see the Santa Theresa steps. A large mosaic stairway. The area around the steps was quite dodgy but the tiles from around the world set among the red ceramic was really cool. We ended our self-guided tour at the Rio Scenarium, a world famous Lapa night club. Although it was daytime, the workers let us in to have a cruise around. Stuffed with interesting antiques, I would feel like I was in a movie if I were sipping expensive drinks here at night. The neighbourhood was a little scary and I am not sure how brave I would be walking around here after dark. We cool off at Impanema beach among the thong-clad bums and head into the city for dinner We eat a great seafood dinner at a busy sidewalk cafe and watched the bustle of the streets in the orange glow of the street lights.
Nice shots! And it’s always good to hear good things about public transportation amongst travelers!
Check out Adventures With Kyle And Zoe !
Of all the neighborhoods in Rio de Janeiro, Santa Teresa was the most creative. It is home to local artists, students, and internationals who have taken to the streets to formalize their political, cultural and social opinions. But through art.
The Escadaria Selarón is a tiled staircase that stretches 250 steps from Joaquim Silva Street to Manuel Carneiro Street. It was created by Chilean artist Jorge Selarón in 1990 and has been visited by famous persons and organizations worldwide. Over 2000 tiles were all donated from people around the globe who wanted to contribute to Selarón’s work.
Selarón died in January 2013. His “candy-colored” work will forever be remembered.
Wonderful neighborhood, wonderful artist, sorry to hear of his tragic demise!
Check out zest and all the rest !
With the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics on the horizon, we were excited to visit the city dubbed “Cidade Maravilhosa (Marvelous City).” We entered the city early in the morning, on a bus of course. Our arrival was complete with about an hour and a half of sitting or crawling morning traffic on the way into town. But, this pace gave us plenty of time to soak in the neighborhoods on the outskirts of town.
Although our stay here was much too short to see it all, we made the most of our time between the bouts of torrential downpours (deaths were reported in nearby towns). Our first few nights were spent on the edge of the historic Santa Teresa neighborhood, which sits on a hill overlooking the city center – views were great. As we went to sleep the noise from the planes climbing out of the city reverberated off the mountainous landscape like clockwork every few minutes.
Our last few nights were spent in a different hostel in the Lapa neighborhood, which is famous for Samba. We spent a weekend night out walking one of the streets that is blocked off to automobile traffic (think Bourbon Street). Music emanated from the bars and restaurants and street vendors were selling everything from adult beverages to feijoada, a Brazilian staple of black beans and pork (there are many varieties, however). We had an obligatory capairinha (Brazil’s national cocktail) on the street.
Wow, Rio really knows how to do it!
Check out Present Tense !
Christ of Vũng Tàu, Vietnam
Depending on your source, the Christ of Vũng Tàu here in Vietnam is either 2m taller, (32m), or 2m shorter, (28m), than Christo Redentor in Rio. Despite the heat, the strict dress code prohibits shorts, tank tops and footwear.
Check out O Hi, Asia!
Paquetá is an island in Rio de Janeiro’s (very much polluted) bay. This island lives by a contradiction bigger than you can imagine. It has no cars (you ride chariots pulled by horses, who btw leave an awful smell in the dirt roads) to preserve the fauna and flora, ok fair enough, but then, you have the most polluted water you’ve ever seen, with the cargo ships as a background.
In the middle of this crazy concept of preserving something that is surrounded by dirty waters, I was actually able to take some nice shots.
Looks like take a break time.
For the full post click here, and do check out Lisbon Bicycle Club !
It`s Summer…open your eyes and say that life is beautiful…
“In the morning I feel the breeze
The sun washes over me
The sound of water the crashing sea
Is it only me that feels alive
It’s all ahead of me
because I feel so right
Just open your eyes and say that
Life is beautiful…
Life can take you anywhere
You don’t know where it leads you
You should know you’re not alone
Just open your eyes and say that
Life is beautiful…”
Check out neloqua’s Flickr Photostream !
So hard to believe there is a major city nearby!
Angra dos Reis
Check out Titta Souza’s Flickr Photostream !
deb_hoppus writes, “I took it when I was on a cruise. At that moment, I was just leaving Rio de Janeiro to go back home”
Wonderful view of an awesome city!
Check out deborapedro’s Flickr Photostream !
Another from Rachel who says, “Father/son duplicate toes. They are exactly the same!!”
Awesome! Have no idea how common, or rare, identical feet are but it’s pretty cool.
Check out Rachel’s Rantings In Rio !
Rachel writes, “Here are my ex-Pat toes, painted with American flags for the World Cup games, at a Brazilian Emergency room. Notice the baby toe on the right!”
That toe design is pretty neat. Must have been a blast to be in Brazil during the World Cup – even if they did not win!
And check out Rachel’s blog, Rachel’s Rantings in Rio, here.